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WINSW is committed to building and maintaining respectful, trusted and collaborative relationships with our communities and stakeholders to ensure water infrastructure projects achieve the best possible outcomes.
We believe in engagement with real, tangible and practical outcomes that enables our communities to work in partnership to deliver projects that realise a wide range of benefits with minimal disruption.
We provide ample opportunities for our local communities and stakeholders to have their say on projects throughout their stages of development and delivery. This feedback is used as a key input into project decision making, including workshopping potential options and the timing and delivery of projects. Importantly, it also shapes how we design our consultation and engagement programs to ensure we are communicating with our communities most effectively.
Strategy for delivering Aboriginal community outcomes
We recognise and acknowledge the unique relationship and deep connection to Country that Aboriginal people have, as the Traditional Owners and first peoples of Australia.
Ongoing access to resources such as water is essential so Aboriginal people can continue cultural practices and maintain their connection with the land and care for Country. We acknowledge there is much for us to learn from the perspectives, knowledge, relationships, cultural practices and environmental protocols that are alive and vibrant in Aboriginal communities today.
The wisdom and experience of local Aboriginal communities plays a critical role in informing our approach to water infrastructure projects and we have a dedicated engagement team who guide our ongoing engagement with Aboriginal communities across NSW.
The draft 'Strategy for delivering Aboriginal community outcomes' outlines our commitment to putting Aboriginal engagement and inclusion at the centre of how it does business and delivers on its objectives. The strategy outlines five key focus areas for Water Infrastructure NSW:
- Community engagement: Have best class, sustainable and ongoing engagement with Aboriginal communities on all Water Infrastructure NSW projects
- Cultural capability: Have a team of culturally competent people who have understanding of, and respect for, Aboriginal cultures and can work effectively with Aboriginal communities
- Employment targets: Create sustainable and ongoing employment opportunities for Aboriginal people within Water Infrastructure NSW
- Building opportunities: Create employment opportunities for Aboriginal communities associated with programs and projects
- Economic participation: Ensure Aboriginal communities are best placed to capture economic benefits from infrastructure investments.
These initiatives will best ensure that the benefits of our infrastructure investments are shared with Aboriginal communities and that Aboriginal engagement and inclusion are at the centre of how we deliver on our objectives.
Consultation will commence with Aboriginal community groups over the coming months before the strategy is finalised in October. Feedback and input on the draft strategy is crucial to the implementation of the final strategy and ensuring it meets community needs.